Pike, a freshwater fish. The pike has a long, greenish body with lighter or darker markings on the sides. The long, pointed head ends in a snout shaped like a duck's bill. With its sharp teeth it preys on smaller fish and other small animals, such as frogs and ducklings.
The northern pike, or jackfish, is the species most popular as a game fish and is extensively fished commercially. Although native to Europe and northern Asia, it is common in Canada and the northern United States, including Alaska. The northern pike is olive green on its back, shading to almost white underneath, with light spots on its sides and fins. It may be four feet (1.2 m) long, and may weigh 45 pounds (20 kg) or more.
Small species of pikes are known as pickerels, a name once given only to the young of the northern pike. The redfin pickerel weighs about one pound (0.45 kg) and is grayish green with dark bars across its sides. It is native to Ontario and the eastern and central United States south to the Gulf Coast states, and has been introduced into Washington. The grass pickerel, known also as the mud pickerel, is a subspecies of the redfin pickerel, which it resembles. It is found in the eastern United States from Maine to Florida. The chain pickerel, named for the dark, chainlike markings on its sides, can weigh nine pounds (4 kg) or more. It is found from the St. Lawrence River to the lower Mississippi Valley. color page.)
The muskellunge is the largest pike. It is found in Canada and the United States, and is highly prized as a game fish.
The walleye, or pikeperch, belongs to the perch family.
Pikes belong to the family Esocidae. The northern pike is Esox lucius; redfin pickerel, E. americanus; grass pickerel, E. a. vermiculatus; chain pickerel, E. niger; muskellunge, E. masquinongy.
For record catches, table titled Freshwater Fishing Records.